Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, has been awarded the Georg Menges Prize 2020. With this award, which is presented every two years, the Plastics and Rubber section of Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), together with PlasticsEurope Deutschland e. V. and the Sponsors‘ Association of the Institute for Plastics Processing in Industry and Craft at RWTH Aachen University (IKV), acknowledge the achievement of individual persons or groups who have made a particularly valuable contribution to the transfer of research results to industrial practice in the field of plastics technology.
This year’s prize winner, Dr. Markus Steilemann, has been a member of the Board of Management of Covestro since 2015 and was responsible for innovation. From 2016, he also headed the Polyurethanes segment. In 2017, he took over responsibility for innovation, marketing and sales as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). On June 1, 2018, he succeeded Patrick Thomas as Covestro’s Chief Executive Officer.
Professor Dr.-Ing. Christian Hopmann, head of IKV and Managing Director of the IKV Sponsors‘ Association, actually awarded the prize to Dr. Markus Steilemann on 27 August 2020. This has been made public at the all-digital Colloquium Plastics Technology on 8 September 2020. In his laudatory speech, Professor Hopmann emphasised among other things the future-looking commitment shown by Dr. Steilemann und Covestro for the sustainability of plastic. He said: „In Dr. Markus Steilemann and Covestro AG, research can call on a strong partner that is interested in the fundamental principles, thinks out of the box, is perseverant and prepared to accept setbacks, and also encourages the transfer of research into processes and products.“
“For me as a former student of RWTH Aachen University, the Georg Menges Prize is a particular honour,“ said Markus Steilemann in his thank-you speech. „The award strengthens us in our intention to drive further forward the fertile interplay of application-oriented research and science-based industry. And it shows that plastic is the material of choice for a sustainable future.“
The Georg Menges Prize was first awarded in March 1999 in the Aachen city hall to mark the 75th birthday of Georg Menges, who was head of the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) for many years. The donors of the prize continued to pursue Georg Menges’ central idea that research and industry necessarily belong together and that a constant exchange of information between science and industry is essential to achieve innovation. The continuous transfer of knowledge by the prize winners helps to shape the future of the plastics industry in a particular way, and is acknowledged by the award of the Georg Menges Prize.
The prize – a replica of a monocular Leitz microscope made by hand in Wetzlar in 1899 – is traditionally presented during the course of the International Colloquium Plastics Technology, which is staged every two years by IKV. This year, the big event for international plastics experts was held from 8 to 11 September 2020 as an all-digital conference because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The presentation was therefore shown as a video clip during the event.